With the assistance of our local guides, you’ll spend a week-long mountain biking holiday exploring the trails that criss-cross the main island of São Miguel. There are no guide books for these trails – the routes you’ll ride are based on local knowledge with five full day rides around Sete Cidades, Lagoa da Fogo, Lagoa das Furnas, Faial de Terra, and Pico da Barossa.
There’s also time away from your bike – to go whale watching, swimming with dolphins, kayaking and canyoning, or simply enjoying the café bars and restaurants of Ponta Delgada.
Transfers and uplifts are included in the mountain biking holiday, together with a picnic lunch on each of your full day rides. There’s also a beach BBQ on your final night (weather permitting).
As the islands are pretty remote, it’s tricky to offer a full range of spares (should you need to replace something like an 11 speed SRAM derailleur for example), so we prefer to include hire bikes in our mountain biking holidays.
Please note : bike hire is not included but our guides have an excellent range of full-suss bikes available to hire – mostly Commencal and Kona, 26”, 27.5” or 29” subject to availability, 10 speed SRAM chainsets, Shimano XT brakes and Reverb dropper posts.
We can also include your choice of a full face or open helmet, body armour and either flat or SPD pedals, all free of charge.
Lagoa do Fogo - our first full day ride explores the area around Lagoa do Fogo, probably the most impressive and ‘wild’ crater lake of all the islands. The morning is a mix of short fire road climbs and single-track descents, always accompanied by spectacular views. After a picnic lunch on the shores of the lake, you’ll descend down back down to sea level following an undulating, twisting single-track descent through dense woodland of Himalayan ginger, hydrangeas, and Japanese cedar. The day ends with a swim at the beach from the beach at Praia de Baixe da Areia.
Sete Cidades ride - Sete Cidades (or Seven Cities) is the largest of all the caldeiras on the island. The crater is 5km across and 15 km in circumference - its rim lies at 700m and is covered in lush vegetation; Himalayan ginger, blue hydrangea hedges and green dairy meadows. Today’s ride begins on the shores of Lagoa Verde (the green lake) in the bottom of the crater, with a steep and technical climb up to the King’s Viewpoint (Vista do Rei) and onto the lesser known lakes of Lagoa Rasa and Lagoa de Santiago. After lunch you might like to explore the village of Sete Cidades itself or you might prefer to ride back up onto the crater rim, to circumnavigate the great crater.
Free day – today we've included a half day whale and dolphin watching trip from the local marina in Ponta Delgada. Other available activities include swimming with dolphins, canyoning or kayaking. If you'd like to include one of these activities instead, we'll let you know the additional cost.
Furnas and Ribeira Quente – Furnas is the most easterly volcano on Sao Miguel and is often referred to as the central highlands. Your ride begins with a gentle warmup around the shoreline of Lagoa das Furnas (Furnas Lake). Here you will see the bubbling mud pools, sulphurous steam vents and the cozido cooking holes which the area is famous for. Cozido is a traditional meal which is cooked in the volcanic ground and is served in most of the restaurants in the village – our post ride meal at the end of the day. Our ride takes us out of the crater and up to the summit of Pico da Areia (471m) with its panoramic view across Ribeira Quente river valley and out across the Atlantic. The fire road quickly narrows into single-track for what is the arguably the best descent on the island: Simplesmente o melhor. This trail has a little bit of everything: fast singletrack, awkward rooty sections, steep rocky steps and tight switchbacks, all leading you down to the village of Ribeira Quente on the coast. Finally, there’s a gentle road climb up through the beautiful river valley back to Furnas for a swim in a volcanically heated pool, followed by cozido in a local restaurant.
Faial da Terra - Faial da Terra is the closest thing the archipelago has to a trail centre. This small parish in the far south east of the island is the Mecca of mountain bike sports in the Azores, with 10 regularly maintained technical descents with a mix of flowing single-track, rooty forests, and rocky technical sections. You will spend the day using uplifts to do as many trails here as you can with lunch taken in the village.
Pico da Barrosa - our final day is more about fun and less about effort. We’ll drive up to the peak of Pico da Barrosa (3017ft), with its panoramic view of the north and south coasts )and Lagoa do Fogo (Fire Lake) nestled in the largest of the caldeiras far below). From here we have two long descents to choose from: Via Rapido and a Catedral (the former is fast and flowy, the latter more technical). If you have the legs, you can drive back to the top for a second run, and once the riding is over it’s time for a farewell BBQ overlooking the Atlantic ocean.
Transfer to the airport for your flight to London.
Price Per Person
We can create a tailor-made holiday to suit your budget.
INCLUDED : Accommodation on a B&B basis in a shared twin or double room, all transfers, 5 x days of guided mountain biking (with lunch), a farewell BBQ (weather permitting) and taxes.
EXCLUDED : Meals (other than those stated), insurance and drinks. As the islands are pretty remote, they don't have a wide range of spares available (should you need to replace something like a derailleur) - we recommend hiring bikes in the Azores. Our guides have an excellent range of full-suss bikes available to hire - mostly Commencal and Kona, 26”, 27.5” or 29”, 10 speed SRAM chainsets, Shimano XT brakes and Reverb dropper posts. Additional cost for good quality full suss bike hire is around £200.
You'll be based in the lovely 4 star Hotel do Colegio in the heart of the old part of Ponta Delgada, just 10 minutes walk from the sea front. If you prefer other accommodation though, just let us know.
Azores Choice provided a prompt, helpful service. they found us the perfect accommodation for our needs and provided superb, expert advice on how to spend our week walking on San Miguel. I would certainly use them again.
Joan from Durham
Recommended small travel company!
Great little company with friendly staff. Organisation of flights & accommodation very efficient. When problems arise they are helpful and very reasonable in their efforts to resolve them. We would definitely use them again for a return trip.
Really great! Would use again!
Very efficient, friendly, helpful. Excellent local knowledge. Everything ran very smoothly, from supplying the tickets to airport pick ups and hotel bookings. Lovely accommodation selected. No complaints!
A wonderful break in a beautiful environment!
Everything was excellent. The information and organisation, the hotel and the island itself all exceeded our expectations. Whale watching and other trips out, fantastic. We will book again!
Great honeymoon package and experience!
They provided a great package at a good price. We found them to be helpful and a quality service was provided.
Nicola and Christopher – Winchester
Top notch service. Highly recommended!
Excellent service throughout. Very informative, with lots of literature, maps and the like. Attended their offices in Ponta Delgada – very impressed with Olivia, friendly and helpful. Paul was first class.
Lynne in Welton-by-Lincoln
Great company for first time Azores visit!
Really great company, will be recommending them. We had never visited the Azores before but this company helped us decided which islands to visit.
Brilliant holiday organised by an excellent company!
Friendly, helpful, professional and completely geared to us as individuals.
John and Janice
Very helpful staff, and the trips they organised for us were excellent with knowledgeable guides.
A really wonderful holiday!
We normally travel independently, but I am go glad that we used Archipelago Choice – their insider knowledge was really helpful in making the most of our time.
Valerie – Brighton
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